Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) has been recorded in Chitwan for the first time. This unusual bird was seen in the Rapti River near Jayamangala in the Chitwan National Park that is about 1 km south-east from Sauraha (park entry point).
Greater Flamingo, whose status in Nepal is vagrant, was first seen by Bishnu Bahadur Lama, the senior wildlife technician from National Trust of Nature Conservation on February 3, 2010 but he first thought the bird was Lesser Flamingo. Next day, members of the Bird Education Society and nature guides went to the spot, observed and confirmed this bird as Greater Flamingo.
(Greater Flamingo in the Rapti River)
Greater Flamingo has pale beak with distinct black tip but Lesser Flamingo has more reddish. Black feather is distinct while Greater Flamingo flies.
(Greater Flamingo with other birds)
Hem Subedi, bird watcher and member of Nepal Rare Bird Committee, said that Greater Flamingo was recorded in the wetland of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve some 50 years ago by foreigners. So, the sighting of this vagrant bird is special event for the bird enthusiasts. Many bird lovers swarmed at the bank of the Rapti river to observe this species. Bishnu Thapa, a nature guide, said that he did not believe first when he heard the news about the sighting of this species. "This bird probably lost its way during migration and landed here for brief stopover." said Hem Subedi. Flamingo has been seen with flock of Ruddy Shelduck, Great Egret, Bar-headed Goose and other waders. Basu Bidari, president of Bird Education Society said, "With this sighting, total bird species recorded in Chitwan district is now 564." Greater Flamingo has been still out there while this news is posted.
(Bird art is depicted by the author and the original photo of this art is derived from www.kentos.org.uk)